The world needs more Bob Hoovers

By MATT FERRARI

This summer at Oshkosh, I was walking along with my daughter Kate, listening to her explain the layout of the AirVenture grounds along with the “have to dos” and the “must sees” to her cousin Nate, who was a first-timer at Oshkosh. The heat that day was almost overwhelming and I was feeling the tops of my ears, flying a loose formation just outside my ball cap, searing in the mid-day sun. I was having visions of a Bob Hoover style big-brimmed straw hat and the shaded relief that it would provide when I noticed a golf cart coming our way.

Next thing I know, I’m eyeball to eyeball with Bob Hoover himself! As he approached, I waved and yelled “Hi ya, Mr. Hoover!” Either out of shock or just curiosity, he decided to stop and say hello. I asked him if I could get a picture of the kids with him. He smiled that Bob Hoover smile and said, “Why sure, I’d be glad to.”

[Read more...]

beyerdynamic headset quiets ride home

“Do you have a headset?” Ivy McIver asked after I said “Yes,” to the offer to fly home with her from AirVenture in a Cirrus SR22T. “Uh, no, but I’ll get one.”

As luck would have it, my wanderings around AirVenture took me into Hangar C, where I found beyerdynamic. I explained the opportunity of flying 8-plus hours in a Cirrus, to New York-based beyerdynamic sales manager Peter Carini, and he kindly offered the company’s flagship HS 800 to sample. “The pilot will be using a Bose A20, so this will give me a chance to compare the two fairly easily,” I mentioned.

[Read more...]

Jus’ Buzzng Round

Spotted while walking through the vintage aircraft area at this summer’s Oshkosh was a 1947 Navion sporting military colors. Why wasn’t it parked in the Warbird area? Because owner Robert Gaines of Nashville wanted to park close to his friends.

During a quick chat at the show, he noted that the Navion’s previous owner get the credit for not only the yellow invasion striping, but also the “Jus Buzzng Round” logo on the nose.

[Read more...]

My last day at Oshkosh

By KATE FERRARI

As the rush of fear set upon me, I froze. The propeller was so close, whirring around at an unbelievable pace. I could feel the rush of wind it was emitting, coasting over my neck.

“Katie, come on!” My whole body jolted into action as I snapped back into reality. I ran around to the other side of the SR20 and pushed the scalding, sun-beaten wing with all my might, slowly steering the plane towards the runway. The crew and I were last in line. [Read more...]

NORAD pilots go on GA charm offensive

Three pilots from North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the U.S. and Canadian military organization charged with intercepting aircraft that violate TFRs, attended this year’s AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh to talk face-to-face with general aviation pilots on how to avoid TFRs and what to do if they’re intercepted. According to a report at AirTrafficManagement.net, general aviation aircraft make up the majority of more than 1,500 intercepts NORAD has made since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and the command is attempting to cut down that number through outreach and education programs.

Letter: KidVenture, 7-year-old key to getting AirVenture juices flowing again

Last week I wrote, “A suggestion for keeping the magic of AirVenture alive.” I’ve received a handful of emails thanking me for the post, some of which offered personal experiences. A few I’m still following up on, but following is what I received from Bill Middlebrook, president of Penn Yan Aero and longtime friend. Suffice it to say, his AirVenture juices are flowing once again, thanks to his 7-year-old son, Reece. Enjoy…

Sorry I missed you this year. I was keeping an eye out for you. I actually spent the show as as an observer this year with the family and spent very little time working the Penn Yan Aero booth.

I just read your article about the show and the naysayer. I have to say, boy are you right! Your insight is right on the money.  [Read more...]

A suggestion for keeping the magic of AirVenture alive

AirVenture is a magical place. I didn’t attend in 2011 and couldn’t wait to attend this year. After all was said and done, I wasn’t disappointed.

By the numbers, AirVenture is huge. [Read more...]

Oshkosh changes bring a bit of sadness

One of the highlights of my summers is a trip to Oshkosh, Wis., for the annual AirVenture show. The best parts of the show are seeing what is new and catching up with old friends.

Since I have been going to this show for about 30 years, I have noted a lot of changes. I assume that the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has a master plan for all of the moves, [Read more...]

Unleaded to Oshkosh

The dust has literally settled in Oshkosh, and there was a good deal of it on the first days of AirVenture 2012 when high temperatures and winds turned the headquarters of U2OSH — Unleaded to Oshkosh — into a blast furnace. A last minute mix-up (EAA had double-booked our space with Beechcraft) forced a move onto Celebration Way, which turned out to be a good location, directly on the main route of travel between the exhibit’s entrance and Phillips66 square. Many members of the Aviation Fuel Club found us and registered for the event, receiving a special decal and T-shirt commemorating the 30th anniversary of the FAA’s approval of the first autogas STC during Oshkosh 1982.

[Read more...]

Flying coast to coast in a homebuilt

By TOM JONES

Many people dream of making the trip of a lifetime, but few make the dream a reality. Not so for Albert and Sharon Gardner, a Yuma, Ariz., couple who flew coast to coast in their RV-10. Last summer, the couple flew nearly 12,000 miles, landing in 100 cities in 37 states.

The trip was the culmination of a longtime desire that Albert had to land his airplane in every contiguous state of the Union. Prior to this trip, he had landed his airplane in every state west of the Mississippi.

[Read more...]